Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What People See Is Not Who You Are

"'I guess when something's been burned into your brain enough,
it's what you start to believe--it's all you see.'
'Well, it might be all you see, but it's not what you are.'"
--Brighton Walsh, Captive

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 288
Publication Date: March 24th, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: First book in series of companions
Goodreads Description

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

Now this might make me sound crazy but this is not my first captive-captor love story…what?! I know. I’m a fucked up individual and I make no apologies about wanting to read AND loving these types of stories. Why? Because there is something so completely amazing to me that two people in this situation can find love. Brighton Walsh does an incredible job of handling this touchy subject with believability and understanding. So let’s get down to it.

Captive is the story of Maddie, the daughter of a wealthy Chicago businessman and an alcoholic mother. From the outside, all seems perfect. More money than God and what problem doesn’t that much money solve, right? Wrong. A lot. Maddie is struggling to get by and fears waking up every morning. She takes sole responsibility for her sick mother because her father is beyond absent. She’s genius-level smart and more than a little socially awkward. Enter the kidnapping. Maddie is grabbed after class and she wakes up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. From there we meet Ghost, her captor, and more than what meets the eye.

What I loved most about Maddie was how real and believable she was. She was a shy girl who was self-conscious about her body. CURVES, PEOPLE. WE HAVE A REAL WOMAN WITH CURVES! Hips, ass, tits, and a rounded stomach. *gasp* I KNOW! This was so fucking refreshing I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved this. So. Many. Women deal with body image issues. I loved Maddie’s honesty about her lack of self-confidence and how she grew to feel beautiful, thanks to Ghost. And NO, it wasn’t that she needed male validation to feel good about herself, Ghost helped her see and feel how beautiful she already was. There is a fine line between the distinction of those two concepts but it is there. I love how Brighton took a female character and made her so real, insecurities and all.

Ghost seems to be the antithesis of Maddie…or is he? Their relationship is built on common ground and nobody is more shocked than the two of them. LOVE the juxtaposition of social class revealing common struggles and how family issues can occur at any socioeconomic level and how money really can’t buy you happiness. And on a similar note, no matter the circumstances, you can always make your life better and pursue dreams you think are too far above you to grasp. Maddie’s frank assessment of Ghost’s talents and how he can succeed with them made my heart so happy. This wasn’t a one-way relationship all about Ghost making Maddie feel worthy, it was equally about Maddie making Ghost feel worthy of his dreams. Le sigh.

The elephant in the cabin is the obvious captive-captor situation. I love reading stories like this because the relationship doesn’t start behind the start line…it starts about 10 miles back. Who wants to feel sympathy and emotions for a person holding them captive? On the other hand, how does one develop feelings for a person who is really a ‘job?’ I might be in the minority here but I feel that the beauty of these stories lie in the captor falling for his captive. Why? Because let’s be real here, if you’re kidnapping somebody, chances are your moral compass faces anywhere but north and your overall values system does not include empathy for your fellow man. With that said, if you’re already on the low end of the human suffering totem pole, how amazing is it to dig yourself out of that hole and fall for the person you’re supposed to be intimidating? I love it. I love seeing the humanity come back and going against everything they know to save and love the person they are kidnapping. Call me crazy, but I like stories that are out there and defy the laws of emotion.

My only small criticism is that while I love the captor falling for the captive, it seemed just a little too quick for me but, again, I like pain and suffering so it’s probably just me. Although I can also appreciate the fact that Maddie is the first and only person to tell Ghost that his thoughts do matter and that he can be better than what he does. So, really, I’m on the fence.

Reserved Seating
If you love non-conventional love stories, sexy times, and overcoming your own insecurities…this book is for you.

1 comment:

  1. This was your first captive story??? You need to read CJ Roberts' Dark Duet series. HOLY MOLY!


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